Salt was born on November 23, 2000 from a dog breeder in Arizona. On Valentine’s Day 2001, I purchased Salt at the mall in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, while on my lunch break from work. It was just 17 days after the death of my childhood dog, Pepper. Salt came home on February 23, 2001. That day marked the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and a long journey side by side. Salt lived a happy, healthy life for many years, until 2015, when she was diagnosed with a skin cancer called lymphosarcoma. Since that time, her health continued to deteriorate, not only from her cancer, but also from several neurological “episodes” such as strokes and seizures, an eye ulcer, and the progression of various lumps on her body. She had 7 risky surgeries between 2015-2017. She was under the care of an oncologist and an ophthalmologist, and was receiving semi-regular cancer treatments, and eye check-ups as needed. She was taking a variety of different medications, including steroids. In November 2016, just as she was turning 16 years old, she experienced a serious neurological “episode” that prevented her from standing, walking, eating, drinking, and even opening her eyes. For one month, I force-fed her by shoving food down her throat, and I hydrated her using a water-filled syringe. Her doctors all thought that she would die at Thanksgiving, but instead, she lived until after Easter, almost 6 months later. Amazingly, during that time, she made a full recovery, resuming all of her normal bodily activities, including walking and eating on her own, and being wide-eyed and fully alert. However, in more recent weeks, she began exhibiting some of the same symptoms as before. But this time, it felt different. It didn’t seem like the result of a neurological “episode” or any specific disease. It seemed like old age was finally taking its toll, and her body was slowly shutting down. Specifically, during the last two weeks, I knew that the end was near. I just didn’t know exactly what date on the calendar it would be. On Sunday, May 7, 2017, my family and I attended the 9:30 mass at our local church. As I left the house, I placed Salt in her bed. Usually, she would just lay there, stretched out in the position in which I placed her, and not even look at me. But this time, it was different. Seeming to be fully alert, she raised her head, and looked up at me with her big, round eyes. I remember closing the door, and then opening it again, only to see her there, in the same position, making direct eye contact with me, as if she was trying to tell me something. Perhaps that was her way of saying goodbye. When I returned home from church, she had already died peacefully, just 16 days away from being exactly 16-and-a-half years old on May 23, 2017. She was still warm, so I must have just missed her final breaths. Perhaps she wanted to spare me those moments, so she passed away before I got there. Salt’s life on this Earth has come to an end, but she leaves me with over 16 years of wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. Salt was truly my best friend. I know that she is now watching over me from above. And I also know, according to an ancient tale regarding pets and their owners, that when the day eventually comes for us to be reunited, we will never be separated again.